How to Encourage Someone to Go to Therapy

How to Encourage Someone to Go to Therapy

Admitting that you need mental health treatment takes a lot of courage, but so does telling someone you love that they may want to seek help. Seeing someone that you love struggle with their mental health can be scary, and while the stigma of speaking to a therapist has lessened in recent years, many people are still hesitant or resistant. Here are a few suggestions on how to approach this subject in a sensitive and respectful manner.

How to Encourage Someone to Go to Therapy

1. Prepare ahead of time.

Your goal is to be as caring and non-judgemental as possible when approaching such a difficult subject. Be ready to ask questions and listen to your friend or partner’s answers about their mental health, so that you can later provide helpful and relevant suggestions and support. By taking the time to research their symptoms and types of treatment that may be helpful, it is possible that you will provide some guidance and hope for your loved one.

2. Frame it with care and use “I” statements.

When you begin discussing the possibility of therapy, you want to express your desire to help and your concern for this person who you care about. When explaining specific concerns, be descriptive about what you have observed and how you think that therapy could help. If you are proposing therapy to a partner, such as couples therapy, it is helpful to frame your request as “I” statements to help them see the benefit to therapy for you, and how you see it benefiting your relationship.

3. Choose the right time.

Attempting to have a conversation about therapy when your loved one is preoccupied with something else is not ideal. Make sure that you are in a comfortable and private space where they will feel free to speak to you about their mental health without fear of being overheard or interrupted.

4. Share your own experience.

Seeing is believing, as they say. Sharing your own experience with therapy can help your loved one see the benefits, as well as destigmatize the concept of therapy. Stories have power and sharing your own stories of how therapy has helped you can go a long way to helping someone accept therapy as a valuable mental health tool.

5. Offer to help with the logistics.

Sometimes just the idea of researching and reaching out to a professional can be overwhelming. If your loved one seems open to therapy, but is unsure where to start, offering to help them find a therapist who meets their needs can provide that first step in their mental health journey.

6. Know when to stop.

You can’t force someone to go to therapy. It is a personal decision that everyone has to make and pushing the issue will only cause problems in your relationship. It might take time for them to be ready, or they may never be ready, but you are their support system and nagging them to do what you want will only push them away and hurt both of you.

Do you, or someone you love, need professional mental health support?

At The Therapy Centre we have skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues that may be difficult to process on your own, from everyday challenges to traumatic events with more lasting impact, like the death of a loved one, a life-altering accident, or a serious illness as well as anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.

At The Therapy Centre we are now offering both in-person and  Virtual Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing.

Our offices are located across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area, at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville, 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton, and a NEW location in Toronto at 1849 Yonge St (Yonge and Davisville).

How Can I Convince Someone to Go to Therapy? | Psychology Today
How to Encourage a Friend to Seek Professional Therapy | wikiHow